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Artist of the Month - March 2005

Troubadour of the Desert,
Juliana releases new
new moon of my heart

By Carrie Switzer

Juliana Weiser CD cover New Moon of My Heart

Moab-based songwriter Juliana Weiser told me her music has been compared to the melodic earth tones of the legendary Kate Wolf. A Northern California transplant, with a lifelong heart song of my own for the redwoods and red tail hawk, I was intrigued. And I was not to be disappointed.

Juliana has embarked on a songwriter’s journey of sharing the word with the fortunate finesse of a folk singer’s talent and a musician’s ear for composition and collaboration. The result is the imminent release of “new moon of my heart,” Juliana’s first recording.

With 11 entirely original songs, Juliana does with the desert landscape what Kate Wolf does for the North Coast; she describes her love of its beauty, the secrets nature shares with her and an elevated inspiration she derives from it. She hopes in each song that her listeners will too.

In “the moment” (Juliana uses lower case titles), she describes human surrender to all things past in a simple acoustic piece:

“New moon of my heart,
How I desire a new start.
… Not the future not the past,
Only this moment and it won’t last.
Only this moment.”

Juliana plays acoustic guitar and a wooden flute on the CD, and performs the vocals and harmonies. Patrick Dressen of Durango joins her on mandolin and lead guitar. Dressen plays with a band called “Badly Bent,” and plans to perform with Juliana at her CD release party, to be announced this spring. Kiran Renfro, a Moab percussionist, plays congas, dumbek, agogo and triangle, and Katherine Tischhauser adds a stunning cello in such tunes as “bring in the light” and “lullaby in open d.”

Juliana speaks of healing that which is sick, awakening that which is asleep, and in “bring in the light,”

remembering who you are…
“You’re so much more than you ever dreamed.
Unfold your wings,
Dance with the angels.
You’re so much more than you ever dreamed.”

Juliana’s song titles are clues to her message. They include “i will go,” “indian way,” “my beloved.” and “only one of us.” Coyotes sing in “touch the earth,” a chant entrances in “the eleventh hour,” a rainstick opens “spirit shield.”

Friends in Moab may have met Juliana as Julie when she first came here in the 1980s, or as Alana for the last nine years. She has changed her name, but her music has remained true to the folk sound performed over the years at Honest Ozzie’s, Eklectica and Red Rock Bakery. She entered and placed in the Silverton Jubilee 2001 folk writing contest and has played in Salt Lake City coffee houses. She grew up in Park City and says she has played music professionally for 20 years.

“I’m launching into this full time now,” Juliana said recently during an interview at her Moab home, where she was putting the finishing touches on the packaging of her independent release. “I want to make it my life. It’s been in the background for a long time.”

Juliana has a 13-year-old daughter, Kayla, whom she says has been “one of my greatest supporters.” She is the daughter of former Music of Moab owner Anne Whitcomb, who has since moved to St. Regis, Montana.
“She was well loved in Moab,” Juliana said of Anne.

Juliana is targeting the Four Corners area for her performances, looking to Taos, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City and the Front Range for venues. She hopes to play at the 2005 Moab Folk Music Festival, and ultimately her dream is to play at the Kate Wolf Music Festival in Northern California, in my old stopping grounds near Laytonville.

“I have hope that we can have a different world,” she says. “I write songs that would inspire that. I have a passion for the earth; I love the earth. The power and beauty of the earth has fed me.”

“new moon of my heart” was recorded at Eagle Sound Studio in Durango, mixed and mastered by Doug Eagle and produced by Juliana. It will be available soon locally.

Juliana surrounded by the shadow of Delicate Arch
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